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Man charged in fatal shooting of 77-year-old man during home invasion on Detroit's east side

Justin Thomas serving time in prison

Justin Thomas, 28, of Detroit, is an inmate at the Marquette Branch Prison. (MDOC)
Justin Thomas, 28, of Detroit, is an inmate at the Marquette Branch Prison. (MDOC)

DETROIT – A man was charged Thursday in connection with the fatal shooting of 77-year-old man during an apparent home invasion on Detroit's east side. 

Justin Thomas, 28, of Detroit, was charged with first-degree murder, felony murder, felon in possession of a weapon and felony firearms violations.

The shooting happened on Albion Street near Sturgis Street. Robert Peterson was found dead in his home on May 17, 2016. 

Peterson's caretaker told Local 4 he has lived in the home since 1972 and in that time he has been robbed more than 10 times. 

The caretaker said the shooting happened overnight. Peterson was shot in his chest and in one hand. He was found in his bedroom by a neighbor who went to check on him.

Peterson's caretaker said he had begged him to leave the house. However, Peterson didn't want to leave the neighborhood he had come to know and love. 

Thomas is an inmate at the Marquette Branch Prison, serving time on an unrelated case on convictions of armed robbery and assaulting a police officer, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections.


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